Murder of Aqsa Parvez

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Aqsa Parvez
Born April 22, 1991
Died December 10, 2007(2007-12-10) (aged 16)
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Education High school student at Applewood Heights Secondary School

Aqsa "Axa" Parvez (April 22, 1991 – December 10, 2007) was the victim of a murder in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. During the murder trial, Superior Court Justice Bruce Durno acknowledged the slaying as an honour killing, stating, 'that he found it "profoundly disturbing that a 16-year-old could be murdered by a father and brother for the purpose of saving family pride, for saving them from what they perceived as family embarrassment."'.[1] Her brother, Waqas Parvez, had strangled her to death when Aqsa would not wear a hijab covering. Parvez's death was reported internationally and sparked a debate about the status of women in Islam.[2]

Background[edit]

Parvez was a student of Applewood Heights Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Her father, Muhammad Parvez, was a taxicab driver.[3] She grew up in a Muslim family of Pakistani origin. A week before her death, she had moved in with the family of a neighbour, Lubna Tahir, to escape tension with her family.[4][5]

Murder[edit]

Around 8 am (EST) on December 10, 2007, Peel Regional Police responded to a 911 call from a man who had said he had just killed his daughter.[6] When officers arrived at a single-family detached home, they found Parvez suffering from life-threatening injuries.[4] She was immediately taken to Credit Valley Hospital and later transferred in critical condition to the Hospital for Sick Children where she died.[4] It was learned in court in 2010 that it was her brother who had strangled her, causing her to die from neck compression.[3]

One student reported that her father was threatening her, causing her to fear for her life.[3] Parvez's friends also said she wanted to run away from her family to escape the conflicts with them.[7]

Guilty Plea[edit]

Muhammad Parvez was charged with second-degree murder and denied bail.[8] The victim's older brother, Waqas Parvez, who was ordered by his father to not communicate with police,[3] was originally facing a charge of obstructing police and placed in custody.[8] He was released on bail and was ordered to reside with his surety and surrender his passport.[9] However, on June 27, 2008, Waqas Parvez was charged by Peel Regional Police with first-degree murder.[10]

On June 15, 2010, Muhammad Parvez and Waqas Parvez pled guilty to the second-degree murder of Aqsa Parvez, and a statement of agreed-upon facts was released.[11] Both were sentenced to life imprisonment, with no eligibility for parole until 2028.[12]

Reaction[edit]

Parvez's death has also revived the story of the similar honour killing that happened in 1989 in which Zein Isa killed his 16-year-old daughter, Tina.

Many people consider her murder to be a case of an honour killing, while some Islamic leaders claimed that it is only a case of domestic violence.[13] Her death has also sparked a debate about the status of women in Islamic communities.[2] A statement her father made to her mother immediately after the crime was later cited in support of the honour killing theory: “My community will say you have not been able to control your daughter. This is my insult. She is making me naked.”[14]

A public funeral was to take place for Parvez at 1:30 pm (EST) at a Mississauga mosque on December 15, 2007.[15] However, hours before the funeral, her family decided to instead have a private funeral for privacy reasons.[2] Parvez was buried in an unmarked grave at the Meadowvale Cemetery in Brampton; her family refused a donation of a gravestone and a memorial made by anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller.[16]

Syed Soharwardy, the head imam at the Calgary Islamic Centre and national president of Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, went on a hunger strike for two days to denounce family violence, which he described as completely against the teachings of Islam.[17]

Mohammad Alnadui, vice-chairman of the Canadian Council of Imams, called the murder "un-Islamic", and denounced the act "without any reservation".[18][19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Father, son plead guilty to Aqsa Parvez murder". CBC. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  2. ^ a b c "Mourners upset at decision to cancel public funeral for slain Ont. girl". CBC. 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Autopsy shows teen died from 'neck compression'". CTV. 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  4. ^ a b c "Teen tried to leave strict family". The Globe and Mail. 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  5. ^ "Aqsa parvez mourned". The Edmonton Journal. 2007-12-16. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  6. ^ Wingrove, Josh; Wilkes, Jim; Mitchell, Bob (2007-12-12). "Teen died of strangulation". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  7. ^ "Teen dead after alleged attack by father". CBC. 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  8. ^ a b "Clash between traditional values, modern culture may be behind teen's death". CBC. 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  9. ^ "Brother charged with obstruction after Mississauga teen's death gets bail". CBC. 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  10. ^ "Brother charged with murder in apparent hijab killing". Canada.com. 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  11. ^ "Father, son plead guilty to Aqsa Parvez murder". CBC. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  12. ^ "Aqsa Parvez's father, brother get life sentences". CBC News. 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  13. ^ "Muslim leaders say teen's killing was domestic violence". CBC. 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  14. ^ NewsReal Blog, 17 June 2010
  15. ^ "Aqsa Parvez funeral made private". National Post. 2007-12-15. Archived from the original on 2008-01-02. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  16. ^ "Family refuses memorial for Aqsa". Toronto Sun. 2009-02-12. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  17. ^ "Calgary imam goes on hunger strike". Calgary Sun. 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  18. ^ "Teen's death had nothing to do with Islam: Imam". CTV. 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  19. ^ "Muslim leaders defend faith". London Free Press. 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2007-12-23. [dead link]

External links[edit]